Mossad helps Brazil arrest Hezbollah-linked terrorists planning attack on Jews
O Globo reported that one of the prisoners was detained upon arriving from Lebanon. “The authorities believe that he has already arrived with information to carry out the attacks,” the report said.
An Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist cell that planned to carry out attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets in Brazil was thwarted, according to Brazilian news reports on Wednesday that were confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Brazilian Federal Police prevented imminent terrorist attacks within the country against the Jewish community, The Brazilian Report reported Wednesday, adding that the operation was aimed at dismantling groups allegedly “preparing to commit terrorist acts” and “recruiting Brazilians for extreme acts,” targeting Jewish community buildings in Brazil.
According to the report, authorities executed two temporary arrest warrants and conducted searches at 11 locations across Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and the federal capital, Brasília. The Federal Police said individuals involved in recruiting or joining terrorist organizations could face severe legal penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.
The Prime Minister’s Office said: “Security forces in Brazil, in collaboration with Mossad and its partners within the Israeli security community, as well as other international security and law enforcement agencies, successfully foiled a planned attack by the Hezbollah terrorist group – orchestrated and financed by the Iranian regime. This disruption targets a vast network that extends to several other nations globally.”
Investigations have identified the suspects’ connections to Hezbollah, according to the report. A 2014 inquiry by the Federal Police found ties between Hezbollah and Brazil’s First Command of the Capital cartel, including alleged weapons trade and the safeguarding of Lebanese prisoners in Brazil.
Op comes amid spike in antisemitic incidents in Brazil
“Amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza with the Hamas terrorist group, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime persist in their global efforts to orchestrate attacks against Israeli, Jewish, and Western targets,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. “The Mossad is active and will continue to employ a diverse array of tactics to prevent these attempts, operating wherever necessary.”
One of the prisoners was detained at São Paulo-Guarulhos Airport upon arrival from Lebanon, Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper O Globo reported.
“The authorities believe that he has already arrived with information to carry out the attacks,” the report said.
The operation comes against the backdrop of Brazil’s strict anti-terrorism legislation enacted prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, which takes a firm stance against acts motivated by xenophobia or racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination.
An alarming increase in antisemitic incidents in Brazil has been reported, escalating tensions and vigilance among Jewish communities. The Brazilian Report highlighted a 760% rise in school-related antisemitic incidents over the past three years, intensifying concerns of potential threats and emphasizing the need for such preemptive actions by law-enforcement agencies.
According to the World Jewish Congress, there are about 92,000 Jews in Brazil, making it the 10th-largest Jewish community in the world and second largest in Latin America, behind Argentina.